Saturday, March 21, 2020
Fundamentals to writing a good essay Introduction Essay writing is a major concept practiced in high schools, colleges and universities, regardless of the course that one is undertaking. Unlike creative writing, which can take any format, it is worth noting that essay writing has a method that has to be followed, especially for academic reasons. This paper explores the method of writing a good essay, with special focus on the format and main ideas that have to be considered during this type of writing.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on Fundamentals to writing a good essay specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Fundamentals to writing a good essay While most people know that essays usually have an introduction, body, and conclusion, less emphasis is put on balancing the three components in actual writing. Oftentimes, most experts recommend that introduction, body, and conclusion should represent 10%, 80%, and 10% respectively (Helpsheet 2). Essays, which do not adhere to this rule, are likely to score low marks, since it is considered as the basic structure of any academic essay. Secondly, the introduction of an essay depends on the research questions or the topic of research being considered. In general, the topic gives direction on how ideas are organized in the essay, and may take varied approaches. At this point, one may choose to turn the research topic into a question, as a way of introducing the essay (Langley 3). Additionally, a good essay narrows its scope to limited issues, since not everything can be covered in a single essay. In other words, it is important to state what to be covered, areas under consideration, and possible comparisons, in order to give the reader a clear picture of the content of the essay. Importantly, this method allows the writer to draw information from different disciplines, as a way of collecting enough materials to educate the reader, rather than reproducing other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s ideas (Helpsheet 3). T his also makes the essay authentic and interesting to read, as oneÃ¢â¬â¢s view of the topic is widened through different ideas. In this line of thought, excellent essays are neither too general nor too specific. When the method is too general, it becomes hard for one to plan in terms of how to start, the content, and the final direction of the essay. On the other hand, too specific essays may lack enough materials, thus remaining shallow and boring to the reader. For this reason, a good essay balances the scope of the research with the reader in mind. Besides having focused research questions and a plan of the essay, it is important for the writer to select a topic, which captures the entire area of study. This is to say that, the reader should be eager to know the content of the essay as depicted by the title. A good title can be in form of a question, a statement, or a combination of the two.Advertising Looking for essay on education? Let's see if we can help you! Get yo ur first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Notably, there has to be a direct link between the title of research and the content of the essay. Another important component of a good essay is a thesis statement, which states the position taken by the writer. This gives direction to the reader throughout the essay, as it forms the basis of all arguments presented. A thesis can also be a point of view taken by different authors on a given topic of research. Conclusion Above all, a good essay has a conclusion, which summarizes the ideas discussed, thus giving it a smooth flow that allows easy understanding. The three elements ensure the transition of ideas as the reader is able to tell the direction of the essay. Helpsheet. Essay Writing Basics. The University of Melbourne, 2010. Web. Langley, Lester. The Basics of Good Writing. SUNY Rockland Community College, 2006. Web.
Thursday, March 5, 2020
Weird Naked Mole Rat Facts (Heterocephalus glaber) Every species of animal has its unique traits. However, some of the characteristics of the naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) are quirky bordering on downright weird. Some people think the rats unique physiology could be studied to unlock immortality or find a way to prevent cancer. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. The mole rat is an unusual creature. Fast Facts: Naked Mole Rat Scientific Name: Heterocephalus glaberCommon Names: Naked mole rat, sand puppy, desert mole ratBasic Animal Group: MammalSize: 3-4 inchesWeight: 1.1-1.2 ouncesLifespan: 32 yearsDiet: HerbivoreHabitat: East Africa grasslandsPopulation: StableConservation Status: Least Concern Description The naked mole rat queen is larger than the other rats within a colony. Geoff Brightling / Getty Images Its easy to recognize the naked mole rat by its buck-teeth and wrinkled skin. The rats body is adapted for life underground. Its protruding teeth are used for digging and its lips seal behind its teeth, to prevent the animal from eating dirt while burrowing. While the rat isnt blind, its eyes are small, with poor visual acuity. The naked mole rats legs are short and thin, but the rat can move forward and backward with equal ease. The rats arent completely bald, but they have little hair and lack an insulating fat layer beneath the skin. The average rat is 8 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) in length and weighs 30 to 35 g (1.1 to 1.2 oz). Females are larger and heavier than males. Diet The rodents are herbivores, feeding primarily on large tubers. One large tuber can sustain a colony for months or years. The rats eat the interior of the tuber, but leave enough for the plant to regenerate. Naked mole rats sometimes eat their own feces, although this may be a social behavior rather thanÃ a source of nutrition. Naked mole rats are preyed upon by snakes and raptors. The Only Cold-Blooded Mammal A naked mole rat would feel cool to the touch. Karen Tweedy-Holmes / Getty Images Human, cats, dogs, and even egg-laying platypuses are warm-blooded. As a rule, mammals are thermoregulators, able to maintain body temperature despite external conditions. The naked mole rat is the one exception to the rule. Naked mole rats are cold-blooded or thermoconformers. When a naked mole rat is too hot, it moves to a deeper, cooler part of its burrow. When its too cold, the rat either moves to a sun-warmed location or huddles with its pals. Adaptation to Oxygen Deprivation Humans cant live very long without air. Dimitri Otis / Getty Images Human brain cells start to die within 60 seconds without oxygen. Permanent brain damage typically sets in after three minutes. In contrast, naked mole rats can survive 18 minutes in an oxygen-free environment without suffering any harm. When deprived of oxygen, the rats metabolism slows and it uses anaerobic glycolysis of fructose to make lactic acid to supply its cells with energy. Naked mole rats can live in an atmosphere of 80 percent carbon dioxide and 20 percent oxygen. Humans would die from carbon dioxide poisoning under these conditions. Habitat and Distribution The rats are native to the dry grasslands of East Africa, where they live in colonies of 20 to 300 individuals. Reproduction and Social Behavior Naked mole rats and other mole rats form colonies, much like bees and ants. Kerstin Klaassen / Getty Images What do bees, ants, and mole rats have in common? All are eusocial animals. This means they live in colonies that have overlapping generations, division of labor, and cooperative brood care. As in insect colonies, naked mole rats have a caste system. A colony has one female (queen) and one to three males, while the rest of the rats are sterile workers. The queen and males begin breeding at one year of age. The hormones and ovaries of worker females are suppressed, so if the queen dies, one of them can take over for her. The queen and the males maintain a relationship for several years. Naked mole rat gestation is 70 days, producing a litter ranging from 3 to 29 pups. In the wild, naked mole rats breed once a year, providing the litter survives. In captivity, the rats produce a litter every 80 days. The queen nurses the pups for a month. After this, smaller workers feed the pups fecal pap until they are able to eat solid food. Larger workers help to maintain the nest, but also protect the colony from attacks. Unusual Aging Process Biologically, an old naked mole rat and a young one are virtually indistinguishable. R. Andrew Odum / Getty Images While mice may live up to 3 years, naked mole rats can live up to 32 years. The queen doesnt experience menopause, but remains fertile throughout her lifespan. While naked mole rat longevity is exceptional for a rodent, its unlikely the species holds the Fountain of Youth in its genetic code. Both naked mole rats and humans have DNA repair pathways not present in mice. Another reason mole rats may outlive mice is because of their lower metabolic rate. Naked mole rats are not immortal. They die from predation and illness. However, mole rat aging does not adhere to the Gompertz law describing agingÃ in mammals. Research into naked mole rat longevity may help scientists unravel the mystery of the aging process. Cancer and Pain Resistance Unlike the naked mole rat, naked mice and other rodents are susceptible to tumors. littlepeggy / Getty Images While naked mole rats can catch diseases and die, they are highly resistant (not entirely immune) to tumors. Scientists have proposed multiple mechanisms for the rats remarkable cancer resistance. The naked mole rat expresses the p16 gene that prevents cells from dividing once they come in contact with other cells, the rats contain extremely high-molecular-mass hyaluronan (HMW-HA) which may protect them, and their cells have ribosomes capable of making nearly error-free proteins. The only malignancies discovered in naked mole rats were in captive-born individuals, which lived in a much more oxygenated environment than rats in the wild. Naked mole rats neither itch nor feel pain. Their skin lacks a neurotransmitter called substance P that is needed to send pain signals to the brain. Scientists believe this might be an adaptation to living in poorly ventilated species, where high levels of carbon dioxide cause acid to build up in tissues. Further, the rats dont feel temperature-related discomfort. The lack of sensitivity may be in response to the naked mole rats extreme habitat. Conservation Status The IUCN classifies the naked mole rat conservation status as least concern. Naked moleÃ rats are numerous within their range and are not considered to be endangered. Sources Daly, T. Joseph M.; Williams, Laura A.; Buffenstein, Rochelle. Catecholaminergic innervation of interscapular brown adipose tissue in the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Journal of Anatomy. 190 (3): 321Ã¢â¬â326, April 1997.Maree, S. and C. Faulkes. . IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesHeterocephalus glaber. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature, 2008.ORiain, M. Justin; Faulkes, Chris G. African mole rats: eusociality, relatedness and ecological constraints. In Korb, Judith; Heinze, JÃ ¶rgen. Ecology of Social Evolution. Springer. pp. 207Ã¢â¬â223, 2008.Park, Thomas J.; Lu, Ying; JÃ ¼ttner, RenÃ ©; St. J. Smith, Ewan; Hu, Jing; Brand, Antje; Wetzel, Christiane; Milenkovic, Nevena; Erdmann, Bettina; Heppenstall, Paul A.; Laurito, Charles E.; Wilson, Steven P.; Lewin, Gary R. Selective Inflammatory Pain Insensitivity in the African Naked Mole-Rat (. PLoS Biology. 6 (1): e13, 2008.Heterocephalus glaber)Thomas J. Park; et al. Fructose-driven glycolys is supports anoxia resistance in the naked mole-rat. Science. 356 (6335): 307Ã¢â¬â311. April 21, 2017.
Monday, February 17, 2020
Implant - Essay Example A 10 year prospective clinical research study by Karoussis et al (2004) evaluated the periodontal and peri-implant conditions in a cohort of 89 edentulous patients (mean age 58.9 years) in order to assess the environmental, physiological and radiographic changes in the dental implants over a long period of time post-implantation. The rationale for this clinical research study involves the need to establish reliable data relevant to the use of dental implants in patients who have had tooth extractions. These types of data are difficult to obtain since they require long term assessments of patients who have received dental implants. These longitudinal single subject studies also require recruitment of large patient cohorts and need to address physiological and environmental factors that affect long-term success rates for dental implant procedures. The study participants were evaluated at one year and again at 10 years post implantation to evaluate the changes periodontal peri-implant c onditions in individual patients. This study also incorporated an evaluation of risk factors associated with sub-optimal patient outcome post-implantation. Patients recruited in this study had previously been treated for periodontal disease and also had received prosthetic structures such as fixed partial dentures and crowns. ITI dental implant system was used in all patients enrolled in this study. Within this cohort a total of 179 implants were assessed; the same number of control natural teeth were included as a basis of comparison. In addition, all remaining teeth were examined in these patients. Patient behavioral risk factors, particularly cigarette smoking, were also evaluated in this study. The data parameters assessed in this study included plaque index (PI) for teeth and modified plaque index (MPI) for implants, gingival index (GI) for
Monday, February 3, 2020
Greece Police - Essay Example This paper will analyze policing in Greece with a focus on the Hellenic police. The Hellenic Police is a government agency that was formed in 1984 with the merging of the Urban Police Forces (Astynomia Poleon) and the Gendarmerie (Chorofylaki) (Hellenic Police 2014). As would generally be expected, the agency is charged with enforcing law and order. In relation to this, the mission of the police force in Greece is to see to it that peace prevails in the country and that citizens enjoy unhindered social development. Its other mission is to interdict criminals, prevent crime, protect the state and ensure that a democratic government oversees the functioning of the state (Hellenic Police 2014). In general, the Hellenic police conduct function related to general policing and traffic safety in line with the stipulates of the constitution. The police force falls within the of the Ministry of Interior. In this respect, the Ministry directs schedules monitors and oversees the activities of the police force as noted by the Hellenic Police (2014). Figure 1 shows the logo of the Hellenic Police Force. Members of the police force are trained in line with a curriculum prescribed by the Ministry of Interior. Based on the training and the functions that they are mandated to perform, members of the police force in many occasions have to bear with risks as they endeavor to prevent crime and attend to the publicÃ¢â¬â¢s demands in different situations. The force commonly relies on advanced training, technology, and cooperation with other bodies to deal with situations that they commonly face (Interpol 2014; Hellenic Police 2014).Ã
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Metacognitive Awareness Of Reading Strategies And Critical Reading Researchers believe that awareness and monitoring of ones comprehension processes are critically important for skilled reading. Such awareness and monitoring processes are often referred to as metacognition. Recent researches show that metacognitive strategies differentiate between effective and ineffective learners i.e. the more a student knows about how he learns, the better he will learn. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability of the students. To this end, 113 third/forth year Iranian college students majoring in English translation/literature, aged around 21-36 were selected to participate in this study. They took part in a Nelson test of proficiency, and a critical reading comprehension test. They also completed a questionnaire, namely Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI). Data analysis through Pearson Correlation Coefficient formula showed that there is a significant relationship between the students metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and their critical reading ability. The findings can have implications for EFL learners and teachers in developing an authentic, interactive and learner- centered environment in their reading classes. Key words: Learning strategies, Metacognition, Metacognitive awareness of reading strategies, Critical reading 1. Introduction The recent years have witnessed an increasing interest in developing critical thinking skills of students in order to improve their thinking and learning abilities and help them to succeed in their educational goals. Improving students critical thinking skills will help students: a) improve their thinking about their course work b) use sound thinking on tests, assignments, and projects in their courses c) have the strategic, analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills they need when they are at college d) have the strategic, analytical, problem solving, and decision-making skills they need when they move to the workplace. The term critical thinking when used by educators has varied meanings in different contexts-whether in formal logic courses, where it has a precise meaning; when applied to arguments or in casual discussions in a faculty lounge about students struggles to grasp the course content, where the term is used more loosely to simply mean good thinking (Pierce, 2005). Before proceeding any further, an account will be provided as how critical thinking has been defined in literature: As stated by Thomson (1996), the critical thinking tradition, which derives from both philosophy and education, originates in the USA. Some of its foremost American proponents were John Dewey, Edward Glaser, and Steven Norris; in Britain, the name most closely associated with critical thinking is that of Alec Fisher. In Learning to Think: Disciplinary Perspectives (2002), Janet Donald (quoted in Keller 2008) presents a variety of approaches to thinking based on the work of different academic disciplines. She provides a working model of thinking processes in higher education in which she describes a perspective on different methods of inquiry. The working model offers a set of procedures followed by most disciplines, including: description, selection, representation, inference, synthesis, and verification. Under each topic on this inventory, then, she lists subtopics indicating their relation to the diverse inquiry methods she previously connected to academic areas. In a later summary of the most important thinking processes used generally across disciplines, she lists separately Identify the context and State assumptions, then reduces her previous set of common procedures to those of selection, representation, and synthesis. In Maclellan and Soden (2001, quoted in Keller 2008), we see the following set of critical thinking skills: a) unpacking concepts-ability to unpack or break down ideas, concepts or theories; b) recognizing contradictions-differentiating between viewpoints and counterarguments; c) development-explaining a phenomenon, joining ideas together to form lines of arguments; d) providing evidence-supporting or justifying assertions; e) examining implications of evidence-generating hypotheses about consequences or examining the relationships between key factors; f) alternative interpretation-questioning or challenging an interpretation of the evidence and offering an alternative. After the above review on what critical thinking is, now we turn to critical reading. A major issue in education today is the concern about students ability to read critically and to evaluate the material. Critical reading is taught as a sub-skill of comprehension with appropriate exercises. Critical reading enjoys several features which make it appear rooted in critical thinking. Among the features we can mention the followings listed by students counseling service of Salisbury University: a. previewing: Learning about a text before really reading it. b. contextualizing: Placing a text in its historical, biographical, and cultural contexts. c. questioning to understand and remember: Asking questions about the content. d. reflecting on challenges to your beliefs and values: Examining your personal responses. e. outlining and summarizing: Identifying the main ideas and restating them in your own words. f. evaluating an argument: Testing the logic of a text as well as its credibility and emotional impact. g. comparing and contrasting related readings: Exploring likenesses and differences between texts to understand them better. Furthermore, Burmeister (1986, qtd in Cherney 1986) defines critical-creative reading and thinking as requiring the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. He adds that such cognitive abilities require readers or thinkers to reason using techniques of formal logic or at least to be consciously aware of the thought processes they are using. Analysis, according to Burmeister, requires the examination of parts of the whole; synthesis is the act of combining or unifying elements into a coherent whole and evaluation requires the establishment of standards and also a judgment as to the goodness of fit of the idea. Burmeister considers evaluation to be the highest level of the cognitive domain. (p.256) The researchers assume that metacognitive strategies are among the strategies which can foster critical thinking and hence reading. However, it sounds reasonable to ask why such a relationship is felt. To answer this question an attempt will be made to clarify metacognitive strategies. Sheorey and Mokhtari (2001) state that many studies recognize the role of meta-cognitive awareness in reading comprehension, whether one is reading in the native language or a second language. Indeed, the consensus view is that strategic awareness and monitoring of the comprehension process are critically important aspects of skilled reading. Such awareness and monitoring is often referred to in the literature as meta-cognition, which can be thought of as the knowledge of the readers cognition relative to the reading process and the self-control mechanisms they use to monitor and enhance comprehension. Auerbach and Paxton (1997) and Carrell et al. (1989), for example, consider meta-cognitive awareness-planning and consciously executing appropriate actions to achieve a particular goal-to be a critical element of proficient, strategic reading. Such meta-cognition, according to Auerbach and Paxton (1997), entails knowledge of strategies for processing texts, the ability to monitor compr ehension, and the ability to adjust strategies as needed (pp. 240-41). Furthermore, Taylor (1999) defines meta-cognition as an appreciation of what one already knows, together with a correct apprehension of the learning task and what knowledge and skills it requires, combined with the ability to make correct inferences about how to apply ones strategic knowledge to a particular situation, and to do so efficiently and reliably. (p.126) To increase their metacognitive abilities, students need to possess and be aware of three kinds of content knowledge: declarative, procedural, and conditional. Declarative knowledge is the factual information that one knows; it can be declared-spoken or written. An example is to know the formula for calculating momentum in a physics class (momentum = mass times velocity). Procedural knowledge is knowledge of how to do something, of how to perform the steps in a process; for example, knowing the mass of an object and its rate of speed and how to do the calculation. Conditional knowledge is knowledge about when to use a procedure, skill, or strategy and when not to use it; why a procedure works and under what conditions; and why one procedure is better than another. For example, students need to recognize that an exam word problem requires the calculation of momentum as part of its solution. (Paris, Cross and Lipson, 1984. qtd. in Pressley 2002). This notion of three kinds of knowledge applies to learning strategies as well as course content. When they study, students need the declarative knowledge that (1) all reading assignments are not alike; for example, that a history textbook chapter deals with factual information differs from a primary historical document, which is different from an article interpreting or analyzing that document. They need to know that stories and novels differ from arguments. Furthermore, they need to know that there are different kinds of note taking strategies useful for annotating these different types of texts. And (2) students need to know how to actually write different kinds of notes (procedural knowledge), and (3) they need to know when to apply these kinds of notes when they study (conditional knowledge). Knowledge of study strategies is among the kinds of meta-cognitive knowledge, and it too requires awareness of all three kinds of knowledge (Pierce, 2003). Many of the current studies recognize the role of awareness in reading comprehension. Reading strategies are of interest for the way readers use them to manage their interaction with the written text and how these strategies are related to text comprehension (Rigney, 1978). Reading in second language reading suggests that strategies improve reading comprehension. Reading strategies indicate how readers conceive a task, how they make sense of what they read and what they do when reading comprehension is difficult (Singhal, 2001). Indeed researchers agree that strategic awareness and monitoring of the comprehension process are critically important aspects of skilled reading. Such awareness and monitoring is often referred to in the literature as metacognition, which is used to monitor and enhance reading comprehension (Pressley and Afflerbach, 1995; Alexander and Jetton, 2000; Pressley, 2000). Recent researchers (Cohen, 1998, Anderson, 2002, Santana, 2003) show that the strategies that mark the true differences between effective and ineffective learners are the metacognitive strategies. In spite of the fact that many of the previous studies have obtained information about learners strategies and reading process, few of them have examined readers metacognitive awareness of reading strategies ( Singhal, 2001). Considering the important role of metacognitive reading strategies in reading comprehension with suspicious eye, this study is designed to investigate the relationship between metacognitive awareness reading strategies and critical reading ability and to view the notions of meta-cognitive awareness strategies and critical reading in the same horizon. For this purpose, we also need to have references to critical thinking because, as was mentioned above, critical reading roots in critical thinking. 1. 1. Statement of the problem For the improvement of critical reading, instructors should teach a variety of strategies that research has shown to be effective, like: generating questions and answering them, writing summaries, writing elaborations and using organizing strategies. The preceding strategies already seem to have been taken into account by Iranian teachers and learners. However, a potential problem in applying the mentioned strategies in reading comprehension can be the absence of meta-cognitive awareness about them. Hence, the researcher assumes that a set of meta-cognitive strategies can strengthen the above line of activity and foster the progress of critical reading. 1. 2. Research Question Is there any significant relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability? 3. Statement of the hypothesis The null hypothesis underlying this proposal is that there is not any significant relationship between meta-cognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability. 2. Method 2. 1. Participants A community sample of 130 male and female participated in this study in the second semester of 2010 majoring in English language literature and translation in Qom Islamic Azad University. They were all in their third and forth year. These students were asked if they would volunteer to participate in the study. Out of 130 participants who completed the questionnaires and tests, about 113 participants were accepted to participate in the study. 2. 2. Measure and Procedure The researchers visited the classes to administer one questionnaire and two tests. A total of 130 students were instructed to answer the proficiency test in one session and to the critical reading test and MARSI questionnaire at a later session. Students rated the items of MARSI, using a 5-point likert-type scale ranging from 1 (I never do this) to 5 (I always do this). From this population, some students were eliminated because they had not properly completed their questionnaires. The general proficiency test (Nelson test, 300 B) comprised 50 multiple-choice and vocabulary items. The total score of the test was 50 and one point was assigned to each correct answer. The critical reading comprehension test consisted of four passages with 4 or 5 multiple-choice items for each passage. So the 20 items were scored by one point for each correct answer. Then the score for all items were added and an ultimate score was calculated. The range of scores for this test was between 9 to 18. For scoring the Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory, the procedure proposed by Mokhtari Richad (2002) was used. A score was assigned to each answer which ranged from 1 to 5: never or almost never=1, occasionally=2, sometimes=3, usually=4, always=5. Then the scores for all items were added up and an ultimate score was calculated. The range of scores for this scale was between 46 to 146. 3. Data analysis To carry out the statistical analysis of the study, several statistical techniques were utilized: to calculate the reliability of the Nelson test, the Cronbach alpha (a) formula was utilized. In order to estimate the reliability of the critical reading comprehension test, the Cronbach alpha (a) formula was utilized. Considering the point that the participants will be assigned interval scores both for their meta-cognitive awareness and critical reading ability, the statistical analysis was Pearsons product Moment Coefficient of Correlation. Also, the reliability index of the translated version of MARSI was assessed by applying Cronbach alpha (a) formula. After administrating the instruments with the main subjects of the study and correcting the papers, the ultimate scores on critical reading comprehension test and MARSI were calculated and entered into SPSS. 3. Results In order to be certain of the homogeneity of the participants of the study in terms of language proficiency, a general language proficiency test (Nelson test) was utilized. The test was extracted from Nelson English language tests by W.S. Flower and Norman Goe (1976). It composed of 50 multiple choice grammar and vocabulary items. Through the pilot study, the reliability of the Nelson test was estimated and the following result was achieved: Table of reliability statisticsof the Language Proficiency Test (Nelson) Cronbachs Alpha N of Items .899 50 As it is noticed, the reliability of the Nelson test was estimated as .89 through the pilot study among 42 students, so the test enjoyed the acceptable reliability. The present study, also used a new self report measure, the Meta cognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI) (Mokhtari Richard, 2002), which is designed to assess adolescent and adult readers awareness and perceived use of reading strategies while reading materials. According to the author of MARSI, the major purposes of developing of this inventory were to devise an instrument that would permit one to assess the degree to which a student is or is not aware of the various processes involved in reading and to make it possible to learn about the goals and intentions he or she holds with coping with reading tasks. As a result of employing this inventory, the second statistical procedure was to estimate the reliability of the translated version of Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies Inventory (MARSI) administered to the subjects in the pilot study. Table of reliability statistics of the translated version of MARSI Cronbachs Alpha N of Items .799 30 According to table 4. 2., the reliability index of the students answers to the MARSI, assessed by applying the Cronbach alpha (a) formula, was 0.79. In order to assess the participants ability in reading critically, a test of reading comprehension, extracted from a model TOEFL, was applied. The reliability of this test administered to the subjects in the pilot study was estimated to be: Table of reliability statistics of critical reading comprehension test Cronbachs Alpha N of Items .748 18 It is necessary to add that in order to validate the critical reading comprehension test, basically four steps were taken such as checking the content validity, face validity, criterion related validity, and construct validity. The procedure for each step can be found in the following in details. The test was compiled according to the recommendation of Alderson and Urquhart (1984). Four different texts were selected. The texts were found from among the materials suggested for preparation of language learners for TOEFL test. Of course it was evident that not any passage could qualify: the passages had to be of an independent entity and understandable without a larger context. However, the main principle in text selection was to find text types that Iranian students of English were likely to read critically. I also consulted my supervisor to ensure the content validity of the passages and also to get confident that the questions could not be answered without reading the passages critically. The texts found were also sent to my advisor to make sure if there were any specific issues to be reconsidered. At the end of each passage, four or five questions were asked. Answering to the questions would be almost impossible without reading the test critically. The text chosen represente d the following text types: a scientific text from a field relevant to Chemistry; a text containing materials about body language and communication; a passage about the sinking of the luxurious ship, Titanic ; a biographical passage about an influential citizen of the United States, John Muir. In addition to improving the test items through item analysis (item facility, item discrimination and choice distribution), the face validity of the test was examined in qualitative terms. The students in the pilot study were asked to state their reasons for estimating the reading test as being critical or not. The comments (40 students) were rather divided. Some disliked the test but many of them liked it. Those who liked it wrote that it required imagination, and cleverness and a few compared taking the reading test with doing philosophical reasoning. Those who disliked the test mostly argued that it required to test other abilities besides language proficiency (e. g. imagination). Some complained that the test was too difficult and that they could mainly perceive the structure of the sentences. For criterion related validity, the researcher followed the same procedure as Assar (2008). With the help of the Nelson language proficiency test and by running correlation between these sc ores and those obtained from the improved reading test, among 32 students who participated in the pilot study, the concurrent validity of the test was established with an index of 0.71. Finally the critical reading test was construct-validated. To this end, the researcher took a process oriented approach following the picture depicted by Hirano (2008) and devised a questionnaire based on the discussed issues found in the literature on critical thinking and reading. The questionnaire was piloted among 40 students. First, they took the critical reading comprehension test, and immediately after they were asked to answer the questions in the questionnaire. Through a frequency count, it was discovered that the test had led to a critical reading successfully. The following table shows the result of the students answers to the fifteen questions in the devised questionnaire by the researcher based on the discussed issues found in the literature on critical thinking and reading. The results in the Mean column show the average score for each of the fifteen questions calculated based on a liker scale for each question ranging from 0 to 3. Table of reliability statistics for the reliability of critical reading questionnaire Cronbachs Alpha N of Items .624 15 It is necessary to mention that after the reliability of the questionnaire for process validation of the reading comprehension test was calculated, the researcher tried to revise some of the questions. It is, therefore, hoped that further studies through the revised questionnaire will provide more reliable results. Finally we come to the research question, which was concerned with relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability of the students. To investigate this question, the Pearson product correlation coefficient was run. The result of statistics is presented in the following table: According to the above table, correlation is significant at the 0.01 level. By using Pearson product correlation coefficient formula, the correlation between the two variables was estimated as .70. That is, there is a significant relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies (MARSI) and critical reading ability. The results have been illustrated in the following scatter plot graph: Graph/Scatter plot for Correlation coefficient between critical reading ability and meta-cognitive awareness of reading strategies The above scatter plot illustrates the correlation coefficient between critical reading ability and meta-cognitive awareness of reading strategies including 113 subjects. Variable 1 (Y axis) is related to meta-cognitive awareness of reading strategies in an interval scale up to 130; variable 2 (X axis) is related to critical reading ability in an interval scale from zero up to 20. 4. Discussion This study was an attempt to investigate the relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies (MARSI) and critical reading ability of Iranian students majoring in fields of English translation and literature. The statistical results proved that there is a significant relationship between the two variables of metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability. So the present study has found evidence that good and poor students are significantly different in their awareness and perceived use of metacognitive strategies. That is, the more a student knows about how he learns, the better learner he will be. Therefore, helping students to be more aware of their metacognitive reading strategies plays an important role in not only developing their critical reading ability but also in their general reading comprehension ability. The results of this study can be compared and contrasted with those of other researchers. For instance, findings of the present study are in congruity with the study conducted by Parson (2002) whose major purpose of his study was to investigate the strength of the relationship between the use of metacognitive strategies and critical reading ability of the students. It was conducted, specifically, to test the effectiveness of a teaching procedure designed to improve critical reading ability by training students in metacognintive strategies. He discovered that the students who were instructed with this metacognitive training package (questioning, summarizing, predicting and speculating on the authors intended tone and purpose) should become more aware of their own mental processes and will demonstrate not only increased critical reading ability, but also increased general comprehension ability. Also, qualitative improvement noted in subjects strategy use provided sufficient evidence fo r further study into the effectiveness of this training procedure. Furthermore, the findings could indirectly support Icmezs (2009) findings who suggests that in a critical reading course, developing a competence in critical reading skills evokes curiosity and the novelty essential for students with high levels of proficiency. Finally, we can conclude that our findings here is in line with what Ajideh (2009) suggests, that poor readers in general lack effective metacognitive strategies and have little awareness on how to approach to reading. They also have deficiencies in the use of metacognitive strategies to monitor for their understanding of texts. In contrast, successful L2 readers know how to use appropriate strategies to enhance text comprehension. 5. Conclusion As mentioned previously, among the tools that students use to learn a second language, learning strategies have been given a crucial role in all academic studies. Language learning strategies have been known as a factor that differentiates successful language learning from unsuccessful language learning. In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness of the necessity to examine human personality in order to find solutions to the perplexing problems in language learning. It is evident that a student uses language learning strategies while he is under the influence of many linguistic, cognitive, and affective factors. Thus, such an intertwined network can provide an answer to the wide individual differences within the classroom. Also, the ability to critically analyze written materials has long been recognized as being crucial to the educational process. In this study, it has been tried to explore the relationship between metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and critical reading ability of the students. With respect to the research question, it was found that when the students show more metacognitive awareness of strategies, they can read more critically and therefore it is more probable that they score higher on reading comprehension test. Based on the results, it can be concluded that there is a meaningful relationship between the students metacognitive awareness of reading strategies and their performance on critical reading comprehension test. Therefore, metacognitive strategies could provide the missing link between cognitive processes and critical reading ability. Metacognition refers to ones awareness of and control over his/her own mental processes (Brown, 2007). Consequently, it is worth mentioning that the relationship demonstrated here is only part of a complex picture, which reveals just some of the factors operating in mind of our students that warrant investigation. It should be mentioned that language learners strategies and their effect in the process of learning is a highly complex issue. Therefore, metacognitive strategy awareness may not be just the only aspect of this achievement in learning; rather, we need to investigate other types of language learning strategies and look at what helps the students to increase their ability in achieving the best results. 6. Implications The present study has found evidence which supports previous research findings that demonstrated that good and poor students are significantly different in their awareness and perceived use of metacognitive strategies. That is, the more a student knows about how he learns, the better learner he will be. Therefore, helping students to be more aware of their metacognitive reading strategies plays an important role in not only developing their critical reading ability but also in their general reading comprehension ability. So based on the above results, the finding of the study can have implications for teachers in reading classes. To be more specific, training good readers means more than just improving their knowledge about language structure and general study skills, and it needs raising their awareness of metacognitive strategies for critical reading. Also the results in this study may have implications for reading comprehension assessment. As mentioned before, critical reading skills are essential for the students with high level of proficiency. That is the higher the level of proficiency, the higher the ability for critical reading. Therefore, one of the factors to be included in the assessment of language proficiency can be the ability to read critically especially at higher level of proficiency.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Rachel nodded. She was both. Four minutes later, Rachel Sexton exited the NRO and climbed into the waiting helicopter. Before she had even buckled herself in, the craft was airborne, banking hard across the Virginia woods. Rachel gazed out at the blur of trees beneath her and felt her pulse rising. It would have risen faster had she known this chopper would never reach the White House. 5 The frigid wind battered the fabric of the ThermaTech tent, but Delta-One hardly noticed. He and Delta-Three were focused on their comrade, who was manipulating the joystick in his hand with surgical dexterity. The screen before them displayed a live video transmission from a pinpoint camera mounted aboard the microrobot. The ultimate surveillance tool, Delta-One thought, still amazed every time they powered it up. Lately, in the world of micromechanics, fact seemed to be out-pacing fiction. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Ã¢â¬â microbots Ã¢â¬â were the newest tool in high-tech surveillance Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"fly on the wall technology,Ã¢â¬ they called it. Literally. Although microscopic, remote-controlled robots sounded like science fiction, in fact they had been around since the 1990s. Discovery magazine had run a cover story in May 1997 on microbots, featuring both Ã¢â¬Å"flyingÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"swimmingÃ¢â¬ models. The swimmers Ã¢â¬â nanosubs the size of salt grains Ã¢â¬â could be injected into the human bloodstream a la the movie Fantastic Voyage. They were now being used by advanced medical facilities to help doctors navigate arteries by remote control, observe live intravenous video transmissions, and locate arterial blockages without ever lifting a scalpel. Contrary to intuition, building a flying microbot was even simpler business. The aerodynamics technology for getting a machine to fly had been around since Kitty Hawk, and all that remained had been the issue of miniaturization. The first flying microbots, designed by NASA as unmanned exploration tools for future Mars missions, had been several inches long. Now, however, advances in nanotechnology, lightweight energy-absorbent materials, and micromechanics had made the flying microbots a reality. The true breakthrough had come from the new field biomimics Ã¢â¬â copying Mother Nature. Miniature dragonflies, as it turned out, were the ideal prototype for these agile and efficient flying microbots. The PH2 model Delta-Two was currently flying was only one centimeter long Ã¢â¬â the size of a mosquito Ã¢â¬â and employed a dual pair of transparent, hinged, silicon-leaf wings, giving it unparalleled mobility and efficiency in the air. The microbot's refueling mechanism had been another breakthrough. The first microbot prototypes could only recharge their energy cells by hovering directly beneath a bright light source, not ideal for stealth or use in dark locales. The newer prototypes, however, could recharge simply by parking within a few inches of a magnetic field. Conveniently, in modern society, magnetic fields were ubiquitous and discreetly placed Ã¢â¬â power outlets, computer monitors, electric motors, audio speakers, cellphones Ã¢â¬â it seemed there was never any shortage of obscure recharging stations. Once a microbot had been introduced successfully into a locale, it could transmit audio and video almost indefinitely. The Delta Force's PH2 had been transmitting for over a week now with no trouble whatsoever. Now, like an insect hovering inside a cavernous barn, the airborne microbot hung silently in the still air of the structure's massive central room. With a bird's-eye view of the space below, the microbot circled silently above unsuspecting occupants Ã¢â¬â technicians, scientists, specialists in numerous fields of study. As the PH2 circled, Delta-One spotted two familiar faces engaged in conversation. They would be a telling mark. He told Delta-Two to drop down and have a listen. Manipulating the controls, Delta-Two switched on the robot's sound sensors, oriented the microbot's parabolic amplifier, and decreased the robot's elevation until it was ten feet over the scientists' heads. The transmission was faint, but discernible. Ã¢â¬Å"I still can't believe it,Ã¢â¬ one scientist was saying. The excitement in his voice had not diminished since his arrival here forty-eight hours ago. The man with whom he was talking obviously shared the enthusiasm. Ã¢â¬Å"In your lifetimeÃ¢â¬ ¦ did you ever think you would witness anything like this?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Never,Ã¢â¬ the scientist replied, beaming. Ã¢â¬Å"It's all a magnificent dream.Ã¢â¬ Delta-One had heard enough. Clearly everything inside was proceeding as expected. Delta-Two maneuvered the microbot away from the conversation and flew it back to its hiding place. He parked the tiny device undetected near the cylinder of an electric generator. The PH2's power cells immediately began recharging for the next mission. 6 Rachel Sexton's thoughts were lost in the morning's bizarre developments as her PaveHawk transport tore across the morning sky, and it was not until the helicopter rocketed out across Chesapeake Bay that she realized they were heading in entirely the wrong direction. The initial flash of confusion instantly gave way to trepidation. Ã¢â¬Å"Hey!Ã¢â¬ she yelled to the pilot. Ã¢â¬Å"What are you doing?Ã¢â¬ Her voice was barely audible over the rotors. Ã¢â¬Å"You're supposed to be taking me to the White House!Ã¢â¬ The pilot shook his head. Ã¢â¬Å"Sorry, ma'am. The President is not at the White House this morning.Ã¢â¬ Rachel tried to remember if Pickering had specifically mentioned the White House or whether she had simply assumed. Ã¢â¬Å"So where is the President?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Your meeting with him is elsewhere.Ã¢â¬ No shit. Ã¢â¬Å"Where elsewhere?Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Not far now.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"That's not what I asked.Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"Sixteen more miles.Ã¢â¬ Rachel scowled at him. This guy should be a politician. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you dodge bullets as well as you dodge questions?Ã¢â¬ The pilot did not answer. It took less than seven minutes for the chopper to cross the Chesapeake. When land was in sight again, the pilot banked north and skirted a narrow peninsula, where Rachel saw a series of runways and military-looking buildings. The pilot dropped down toward them, and Rachel then realized what this place was. The six launchpads and charred rocket towers were a good clue, but if that was not enough, the roof of one of the buildings had been painted with two enormous words: WALLOPS ISLAND. Wallops Island was one of NASA's oldest launch sites. Still used today for satellite launches and testing of experimental aircraft, Wallops was NASA's base away from the spotlight. The President is at Wallops Island? It made no sense. The chopper pilot aligned his trajectory with a series of three runways that ran the length of the narrow peninsula. They seemed to be heading for the far end of the center runway. The pilot began to slow. Ã¢â¬Å"You will be meeting the President in his office.Ã¢â¬ Rachel turned, wondering if the guy was joking. Ã¢â¬Å"The President of the United States has an office on Wallops Island?Ã¢â¬ The pilot looked dead serious. Ã¢â¬Å"The President of the United States has an office wherever he likes, ma'am.Ã¢â¬ He pointed toward the end of the runway. Rachel saw the mammoth shape glistening in the distance, and her heart almost stopped. Even at three hundred yards, she recognized the light blue hull of the modified 747. Ã¢â¬Å"I'm meeting him aboard theÃ¢â¬ ¦ Ã¢â¬Å" Ã¢â¬Å"Yes, ma'am. His home away from home.Ã¢â¬ Rachel stared out at the massive aircraft. The military's cryptic designation for this prestigious plane was VC-25-A, although the rest of the world knew it by another name: Air Force One. Ã¢â¬Å"Looks like you're in the new one this morning,Ã¢â¬ the pilot said, motioning to the numbers on the plane's tail fin. Rachel nodded blankly. Few Americans knew that there were actually two Air Force Ones in service Ã¢â¬â a pair of identical, specially configured 747-200-Bs, one with the tail number 28000 and the other 29000. Both planes had cruising speeds of 600 mph and had been modified for in-flight refueling, giving them virtually unlimited range.
Friday, January 10, 2020
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